Mike J

Life jacket

Recommended Posts

What are Laser guys wearing in the way of personal flotation?

Thanks

Mike

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I'm not a racer.....I got a zip up ski jacket from Wal-Mart & removed the straps & front snap in buckles.  The buckles would hang on the side of the boat when trying to climb back in from a capsize or just a swim.  The link that Foredeck Shuffle sent you is one of the official ones.  Amazon has several shown under dinghy clothing.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mike J said:

What are Laser guys wearing in the way of personal flotation?

Thanks

Mike

 

The new Zhik Coast Guard approved PFD is nice. I’ve worn it for two regattas and like it. It does tend to ride up above the shoulders when in the water. Wearing a bib over it helps. Stohlquist also makes some low profile jackets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, tillerman said:

E41834_800.jpg

Is that what the cool Aero sailors are wearing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spinlock Wing 50N bouyancy aid. Side zip, 2 low profile pockets on the front, some rubbery bits inside that grip your shirt to keep jacket low. 5 star fat man rating (6' 230#)

You need to jam an orange $3 CG approved one through a port to show to the water cops.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone ever had any kind of hassle for wearing a non USGC approved PFD?  I'm not talking about for things like collegiate racing.  I'm talking about out on the water running into a random local water patrol.  I mean seriously, with as much alcohol and high Horsepower-fueled craziness that I see on our local lakes, I can't imagine that local water patrols have time to inspect the labels on PFDs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't imagine anyone forcing you to remove your jacket to check the label while you are on the water. I do stuff an orange one in the hull though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, camasonian said:

Has anyone ever had any kind of hassle for wearing a non USGC approved PFD?  I'm not talking about for things like collegiate racing.  I'm talking about out on the water running into a random local water patrol.  I mean seriously, with as much alcohol and high Horsepower-fueled craziness that I see on our local lakes, I can't imagine that local water patrols have time to inspect the labels on PFDs.

I'm wondering this too. I'm looking for a new life jacket that's more appropriate for my Swift Solo, as I'm wearing a ~20yr old West Marine "One-Design" pfd that's pretty bulky compared to the modern ones. I've been seriously considering the Mustang Khimera (https://www.sailingworld.com/mustang-khimera/), but that's because the options for Coast Guard approved ones are so few. I'd probably rather a buoyancy aid, but finding a place to stow another pfd on a Swift Solo so I can be legal is...challenging.

I sail on a lake that has a pretty active Sheriff presence. In fact, I just got stopped in my kayak yesterday for the second time, because my pfd was (conspicuously and as always) under the deck lines less than six inches away from me and not ON me (perfectly legal, but somehow they want to see up close that it's there).  They've never come near me on a sailboat. They may have looked with binoculars, but they'd have to be pretty knowledgeable to know that a Zhik or Gill vest wasn't USCG approved. 

Has ANYone ever been nailed for having a pfd that isn't USCG approved?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I got back into Laser Sailing 11 years ago, I stopped into APS while visiting family in Annapolis and spent about an hour trying on just about every life jacket that they had in stock.  This is back when APS still sold dinghy hardware (lol), I don't know if life jackets will be part of their lineup going forward or not.  Anyway, my point is I'd recommend finding a physical store that has a broad selection and trying on a bunch, when you are not in a hurry.  Dress like you dress when you sail.  Each person may find different jackets fit differently, there  is no 'best'.   That being said, I ended up with a Patagonia pfd that I am still using.   I believe it was made by Lotus Designs and simply labeled 'Patagonia' but neither Lotus nor Patagonia sells them any longer.   My son tells me that the lotus design was bought by another company, I think it is Astral, and they continue to make pfds of similar design.  He has one of theirs and loves it.

I find that the shoulder buckles will snag the main sheet on the bottom of the boom, and seem to be designed only to do so while close to the finish line when engaged in an intense tacking duel, usually resulting in a capsize.  To combat this, I tape the buckets and in cooler weather wear an XL spray top over the life jacket.  

Several sailors I know use non USCG bouyancy aids, and none have been cited by the authorities.  But they are not permitted in most regattas, and since I like to sail in the same gear I race in, I have never used one.  One sailing buddy just tried the new Zhik USCG approved PFD and really liked it.

One other thing, if you are lucky enough to find a physical store that has a good selection of PFDs to try on and you like one, please BUY YOUR PFD THERE!  If we don't spend our dollars with merchants that invest their funds in inventory for us to physically see and touch, these merchants won't be around tomorrow.  Sorry, I'll get off my soap box now.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with buying local when you can but I have not found anyone with a good sailing PFD inventory in this area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Mike J said:

I agree with buying local when you can but I have not found anyone with a good sailing PFD inventory in this area.

Is there a decent kayaking/paddling/canoeing shop near you? Stohlquist, Kokatat, Lotus... make nice stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a good but small kayak/sailing shop that has Stohlquist but they do not have the Stohlquist Edge which is the version I am interested in. They could order one but said it would take ten to twelve business days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in the UK I don't think there is a legal requirement to wear a PFD. I quite often see people sailing & kayaking without one. Most sailing clubs insist you wear one, in fact the club I belong to insists you wear a PFD when on the slipway, helping people to launch & recover boats. Just common sense really!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Martin T said:

Here in the UK I don't think there is a legal requirement to wear a PFD. I quite often see people sailing & kayaking without one. Most sailing clubs insist you wear one, in fact the club I belong to insists you wear a PFD when on the slipway, helping people to launch & recover boats. Just common sense really!

unfortunately not so common as one might think...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now